Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Star-Bulletin Features

Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Grohl-led Foos
put on powerful
show for fans

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin

DAVE Grohl is such a commanding presence as the vocalist and all-around frontman of the Foo Fighters that it is hard to imagine him ever laboring in semi-anonymity as the drummer in another band. That fact made Grohl's time behind the drums last night one of the high points in a great performance as the Foos opened a two-night, two-island engagement at World Cafe. (They play Maui tonight.)

Ernie Cruz Jr., "Baywatch" star Stacy Kamano, Phil Slash, Sunburn vocalist Neil, local record producer Darryl Hill and television producer Dirk Fukushima were among the capacity-plus crowd who came out on a Monday night for Grohl's return to Hawaii.

The Foo Fighters played a low-profile debut show here in 1996, There was nothing low-profile about the Foo Fighters last night as the quartet played a tight 80-minute set for an enthusiastic crowd that included all ages. Some in the crowd were probably too young to have seen Grohl when he played the Garage as a member of Nirvana almost 10 years ago. Grohl and his fellow Foos gave a far superior show last night in all respects.

Grohl is still a powerful drummer but he is an impressive and astute frontman with a great sense of style as well. The Foos are not a conventional "showband" but they put on quite a show nonetheless.

The hardest hard-core Foo fans may quibble, but Grohl's choice of material was as well thought out as the performance itself. He included almost all the group's hit singles including three recent ones: "Generator," "Stacked Actors" and "Learn To Fly," off the current "There Is Nothing Left to Lose Album."

The set also offered a balanced look at the overall Foo Fighter discography with five songs coming from the 1995 Foo Fighters self-titled debut album and six from the 1997 followup disc, "The Color And The Shape."

Grohl dominated the stage throughout the performance. He took the stage without any hype or public announcement and opened the show with three cuts from the current album. He didn't say much and barely broke a smile for the hour that followed, but when a fan tossed what looked like a broken plastic lei up to him Grohl acknowledged the questionable gift and put it around his neck.

The crowd gave the Foos great support. The first 30 feet of crowd down front surged to the rhythm and when Grohl cut the vocals on the stage he had the fans filling in as a impromptu chorus. Maybe rock star concert cliches simply aren't his thing, but Grohl didn't have to tell the crowd to "put your hands together" to get them into the music. He didn't ask questions like "How ya doin' tonight?" or "Do you wanta hear more?" either. Professionalism of Grohl's caliber is impressive enough.

It was a great night as well for the Foos' opening act, Lefty. The group came to town celebrating the release of its first major label album "4 3 2 1" and did so with a powerful 35-minute show that left no doubts here that they are a band on the fast track to future headliner status.

Lefty was tight and energetic from start to finish. Vocalist Dennis Hill was engaging and articulate as the spokesman and lyric focal point. He conveyed just a hint of an in-your-face edginess but spoke with obvious sincerity when he thanked the crowd for checking them out and thanked the Foos for having them open the show.

Guitarist Lorenzo Giovani and bassist Scott Somers added visual impact as well while supporting Hill with solid performances. Somers worked shirtless throughout the set. Giovani evoked a classic rocker ambience in basic black; white socks added the overall '50s cool look of his attire.

Hill made sure each of the other guys got their due with brief introductions that included drummer Kenny Livingston. A couple of immature Foo fans got a bit childish upstairs when Hill advised the crowd against substance abuse and began sharing the story behind of the songs, but there was no question watching the overall crowd response that the band was a hit last night. "Secrets" and "Girls," two of the obvious hits on their Interscope album, helped cap an excellent performance.

And, both Lefty and the Foos delivered high-intensity performances without falling back on rapid-fire four-letter epithets.

It was by all criteria one of the best shows thus far this year in Honolulu.


Bullet The Foo Fighters and Lefty
Bullet When: 7 p.m. today
Bullet Place: Maui Arts & Cultural Center
Bullet Tickets: $30
Bullet Call: 808-242-SHOW

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin